Dermatologists say you should still apply sunscreen, despite recent absorption studies

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that chemicals from sunblock absorb through the skin and into the body.

Todd Schlesinger, the Director of Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston confirmed their findings.

“So as far as sunscreen ingredients go, we apply a lot of things to our skin and there’s been a lot of discussions lately online and in the news about absorption,” Schlesinger said. “So a few ingredients that we apply to the surface of the skin can be absorbed into the skin.”

One is named oxybenzone. It’s a very commonly used ingredient. Schlesinger said it gives you broad coverage against UVA and UVB rays.

“But we apply things to our skin on a regular basis, and they’re absorbed, and there have been no studies show that there’s a safety risk,” said Schlesinger.

For kids, he suggests avoiding sunscreens with organic ingredients like oxybenzone, octocrylene, avobenzone, and ecamsule.

“I would recommend staying away from sunscreens that have those ingredients and more toward the inorganic ingredients such as titanium, dioxide and zinc oxide,” said Schlesinger.

Even though the chemicals will absorb into the skin, Schlesinger argues you should still lather up.

“The body washes those ingredients away very quickly and so the benefit of using sunscreen certainly outweighs the risk of the possible absorption of the ingredients into the body,” said Schlesinger.

Your alternatives to not using sunscreen would be to stay indoors, avoid sunlight and wear sun-protective clothing.

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